While Art Director at the Mississauga Times in Ontario, James Unger created a cheerful oaf, a sort of bumbling blue-collar “everyman” which he called “Attila The Bum.” For this creation Unger was named “Cartoonist of the Year” by the Ontario Weekly Newspaper Association for three successive years.

He tried to syndicate his cartoon character through The Toronto Star, but it was rejected. In 1974 He submitted it to the Universal Press Syndicate in Kansas City, U.S.A., who offered him a 10 year contract. They changed the strip’s name to “Herman”, although Unger insisted the series was not about one but a variety of characters.

It began in 20 newspapers, and, by April 1979, it was in more than 250 in Canada, the U.S.A. and seven other countries. In 1982, it was syndicated in 300 newspapers. Later “Herman” had an estimated 40 million readers in 25 countries. In 1990, It was the first cartoon syndicated in a Communist country when it was sold to a newspaper in East Germany.

Jim Unger retired from cartooning in 1992, and the feature stopped. However, on 7 July 1997, both Unger and “Herman reappeared in the Expositor [Brantford] under the banner United Media. The new feature was a mixture of old cartoons and new work. Unger died 29 May 2012.


BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTION:                                                                                      All cartooned by James Unger. All published by Andrews & McMeel Inc. A Universal Syndicate Company except where otherwise noted..

Content panel cartoon & Cover dust jacket front: Book size 22cmw X 29cmh.

The 1st Treasury of Herman. 1979.

The Second Herman Treasury. I980.

Herman: The Third Treasury. Car., 1982. Also has cartoon on dust jacket back.

Herman: The Fourth Treasury. 1984.

Content panel cartoon & Cover book front: Book size 14 cmw X 20cmh.

“And you wonder Herman, why I never want to go to Italian restaurants.” Sheed, Andrews & McMeel Inc.: A Universal Syndicate Co., 1977.

“Apart from a little dampness, Herman, how’s everything.” Sheed & Ward Ltd.: A Universal Syndicate Co.,1975.

“Where’s the kids, Herman.” Sheed & Ward Ltd.: Universal Syndicate Co., 1978.

Content panel cartoon & Cover book front: Book size 21 cmw X 14 cmh.

“Herman, you were a much stronger man on our first honeymoon.” 1983.

The Latest Herman. 1981.

Content panel cartoon & Cover book front: Book size 13cm X 13cm:

Herman And The Extraterrestrials.1983.

Herman For Lovers.1982.

Herman For Pet Fanciers.1982.

Herman For The Hospitalized.1982.

Herman MD. 1983.

Herman Out To Lunch. 1983.

Content strip cartoon & Cover book front & back except where noted: Book size 27cmw X 20 cmh.

A Collection of Herman Colour Comics. 1983.

Herman Sundays. 1982.

People Are Starting To Complain. 1984.



Content decoration & Cover book front: Book size 14cmwX20cmh.

Herman’s Important (and not so important) Stuff To Do Book. 1981.

Herman’s “People I’m not tryi9ng to forget immediately” Address Book. 1981.


Article book:

Herman Sundays. Kansas City: 1982.

Periodical text:

Maclean’s, 16 Apr. 1979: “Jim Unger: the mind behind Herman.” Writ., R. MacGregor: 8-10.